View Full Version : Students' motivation

13-Nov-2004, 21:56
Apart from Mr K's contribution the rest has been completely useless and the thread title may be misleading.

Tomasz Klimkiewicz
17-Nov-2004, 11:05
Dear Vivi,

I would very much like to help you; it's just that with the scarce amount of information available to me I may not be the best judge of the situation.

I used to teach English to learners of all levels up to and including the FCE preparation course. I worked for a private language college offering evening classes available to the public. That meant that my students were persons of all walks of life, with vastly varying general education, background, occupational status, age and ... MOTIVATION.

I frequently encountered individuals who, similarly to the case you describe, thought that, once they'd reached a certain level of competence in English, there was very little they would to do to raise it even higher. It happened very often that such persons changed their attitude when confronted with a sample exam for one of the Cambridge certificates, depending on the level they represented at that time. Invariably, it was a humiliating experience even for those who regarded themselves as quite proficient simply because they were one of the top students in their grammar school's English class.

Preparation for a Cambridge exam, at least here where I live, is perceived by many as a naturally evolving phase of English education. Moreover, it poses a challenge which in itself can provide students with ample motivation to go further in development of their language skills. Cambridge examinations preparation courses are well structured, and the modern coursebooks are interesting enough to attract the learners' attention and keep them busy for some time, even if they eventually decide not to sit the exam session.

The fact that the preparation course students have a clearly set goal is not to be neglected, too.

FCE has become particularly popular here in Poland, even among secondary school students. Many of them even think CAE is the way to go because 'nowadays everyone's got the First Certificate' (an exaggerated statement, to be sure, but a motivating one, no doubt.)

Excuse my rambling on without end. I don't know what the availability of Cambridge exams is where you teach, but if there's any chance to go to such length, try to get the individual you refer to in your post interested in taking some exam-biased sample tests. They will at least indicate which particular language skills are not his strongest points, and may encourage him to work harder to improve those left behind skills.

Good luck in whatever path you choose to follow.


Tee Kay

17-Nov-2004, 13:12
Thanks for your reply and here's more info. The case in hand is 15 y.o. (I suppose a bit early to think about FCE but we had it in mind as we set off working through Merphy's grammar last year and we're not even halfway through the FCE Grammar & Vocabulary by L. Prodromou this year). He's a 'quick study' but he lacks motivation to do things properly. He zips through his home assignment in thirty minutes before class, no wonder it's often done in a slipshod manner with whole parts missing.

18-Nov-2004, 03:36
Give him a CPE exercise and show him how much he still needs to learn. ;-)

23-Nov-2004, 04:15
Dear Colleagues:

Who amongst those who have chosen to teach at the University level in Shanghai, China have not experienced at least one of the following phenomenon?

Boys congregate in the back of the classroom, as far from the teacher as possible.
never ___ seldom ___ frequent ___ always ____

Boys who sit in the back of the classroom are not attentive.
never ___ seldom ___ frequent ___ always ____

Boys who sit in the back of the classroom play computer games on their mobile phone.
never ___ seldom ___ frequent ___ always ____

Boys who sit in the back of the classroom read books unrelated to the course.
never ___ seldom ___ frequent ___ always ____

Boys who sit in the back of the classroom have, at a minimum, bloodshot red eyes or go so far as to actually put their head on the desk, close their eyes and go to sleep.
never ___ seldom ___ frequent ___ always ____

Boys who sit in the back of the classroom fail to participate in the discussion.
never ___ seldom ___ frequent ___ always ____

Boys who sit in the back of the classroom have a higher number of absences.
never ___ seldom ___ frequent ___ always ____

Boys who sit in the back of the classroom show up for the course review lecture and the final exam.
never ___ seldom ___ frequent ___ always ____

Boys who sit in the back of the classroom usually receive lower final grades.
never ___ seldom ___ frequent ___ always ____

Boys are generally less motivated then girls.
Agree ____ Disagree ____

Girls outnumber boys by about 8 to 2.
True ____ False ____

Having observed these phenomenon in numerous Shanghai Universities, a survey was conducted of 350 non-English majors (Physical Education, Sports Management, Chemistry, Public Administration, Civil Engineering and History) enrolled in an English conversation class at a major South Shanghai University (See Appendix A for representative responses) and 130 Business majors enrolled in a major North Shanghai University. (See Appendix B for representative responses) All of the students surveyed were in the last year of their current undergraduate program and were close to graduating.

The students were asked the following question:

Using no more than one paragraph, please tell me why girls attend class more regularly than the boys; why the girls seem more motivated than the boys; why the girls come to class prepared while the boys do not; and why the girls participate in the class more than the boys.

The students’ responses fell into clearly discernable categories.

The responses from the males at both the North and South Shanghai universities fell into six categories:

Categorical denials that the situation occurs; or occurs as a misperception at the North Shanghai university arising from the high ratio of girls to boys in each class.
Shifting blame to the females as being equally unmotivated.
Acknowledgement that boys have too many extra-curricular activities such as playing sports, playing computer games, job interviews, and a perception that the course material has no direct benefit.
Girls are just better at 2nd language acquisition
Blame the teacher.
Claim females are showing off for male teacher.

The responses from the females at both the North and South Shanghai universities fell into eight categories:

University age females are more mature than the males.
University age females have a greater appreciation for the value of an education.
Traditionally, Chinese women are more attuned to following instructions and performing well.
Chinese women are more concerned with losing face than the males.
The males have more activities such as sports and playing CP games.
The males are lazy.
Women care about their grades while men just care about passing due to a prejudice in employment that favors males.
The males think they are so clever they can listen to the course summary and pass the final exam.

It does not matter if we teachers agree or disagree with the students’ opinions, or whether the students are in fact right or wrong. What is important is that we understand our students’ thinking and beliefs and deal with our students’ realities.

Our concern should be to know why certain of our students are chronic underachievers so that we can devise appropriate strategies to motivate them to achieve according to their potential, so that when they graduate they may make an appropriate contribution to China’s better off society. Why should we be concerned? As you read the students’ answers, please consider that they are about to graduate and even the motivated students’ English is so very poor. What chance do the unmotivated students’ have when they graduate? The answer may appear in a recent China Daily article (See Appendix D.)

What type of motivation will work on the male Chinese university student?

One method, of final resort, is chronicled in Appendix C along with some of the students’ written responses.

Your written responses to the above questionnaire and your suggestions for motivating the unmotivated will be appreciated and attributable, if you wish, in a forthcoming journal article.

Warm regards,

Martin Wolff

November 20, 2004

23-Nov-2004, 04:21


Dear Professor ______,

Long time no see. I am dreamed of taking your lesson again.

Thank you for giving us so many wonderful moments.

There are many causes for the problem. But they come down to four majors:

Firstly, it is much easier for the boys to find jobs than the girls. Because girls should do a lot of things such as being pregnant while boys shouldn’t. That might influence the job. So the boss would like to employ a boy rather than a girl. Therefore, girls must study really hard to meet the requirements of the society.

Secondly, boys are very immature. They will not think too much of their future. Only they know is relaxation, playing games, surfing on the net, sleeping etc. On the contrary, girls make their effort to learn everything well so that they can lay a solid foundation for their future.

Thirdly, girls have much more talent in learning languages. They have some gift of learning languages. So they become very interested in English and pay much attention to learning it. Maybe they are eager to find a foreign husband by learning English well.

Finally, boys have a high stress. After graduation, they must find a good job and set up their own family. They try their best to support the whole family. They think now is the best time of their life. They try to grasp this opportunity to enjoy their lives. And they don’t like to consider too much.

In conclusion, I think boys need more help and care. In an Oral English Class, you should pay much attention to them.

Wish you happy all day!



“Because the different educational menthod and cutural in china. Nowdays boys are becoming more and more timid while the girls are becoming more and more powerful.They got the higher grades. Because the girls know that their future will be harder than the boys. When girls graduates from the schools, in the same situation, the same certificates, the same experience, the companies would rather choice the boys.The problem is the sexual discrimination.So if girls want to get a good job,they shall pay more than boys.Second. With the Women's Lib, the girls want to be more powerful than boys.They want to get much more things than boys do.So they study harder .Third.The boys are attivte,they wold rather spend time on ports and games than just listen the teachers.They want a stage to show themselves. But when you ask the girls to answer the question,they will feel that just girls' bussiness.They will not be interested in that. So if you give more opportunities for boys to talk,they will do a perfect job.And the fourth,yuu did spend more time for the students on the net. The boys will feel dull and not spend every minutes in the class. But the girls are more patient.That's the problems.

Best regard


Dear _____,

The answers for the questions you bring out,in my opinion,have a lot to do with the boys'indivisual habitants.Maybe they don't regard them as one of our family,because they are very independant.Most boys are interested in PC games and some other sports ones.They may spend lots of time on them.Thus they will set aside little on class.Some boys'goal is just to pass the lesson.So they don't care how much they learn,which shows that the boys participate in the class discussions little than the girls.


Girls are easier to supervise.They come to class regularly does not

mean they are favour of the class,they just strickly comform to the

rules.Boys are more energetic,they usually want to do something to show

their unique.The difference between boys and girls are their attitude

towards study.In my opinion,girls focus too much on grade while boys study

for abilities.That is why boys often miss class or do not prepare.


because you are a gentleman, a handsome man.if a wondeful lady,boys will

have more interests.and in china boys are always have less word than girls,they wont be

willing to speak in the class,even they prepare for it. you can see that if a

boy look at you ,he will have the answer.if the boy low his head,you should dont ask him,excpt you want punish him.at last, thank you for teach me.bye bye


23-Nov-2004, 04:21

I think the boys are more like to play.Nowadays,computer games are very popular.The boys always play games very late at night,so they have no more energy to behave activity in the class.And have no more time to prepare for the class. And if they play games all the night,they would rather to sleep than to attend class.And another point is that the English Class is not a class which has much relationship with there major,(I don’t know how to express) It means that it is enough to get an C or 60,and it will not affect them to get theBachelor Degree. And they think you’re kind enough to give them the score at least C. So they don’t worry about your class and their score. The last but not the least is that girls are more mature than the boys, we have realized the importance of English when we find a job, but the boys don’t. All they know in the college, I think, is playing and love. J___

Dear _____:
I'm so happy that you still miss us!
About the question why girls are more diligent than boys in the study not only English what I think is that boys think they are more clever than girls and if only they can do well in the test is enough.The boys just want to pass the exam when the girls want to get good mark in the axam.The boys prefer play to study though the girls also like play.The girls know what is more important for them.On the other hand,there are still a part of some boys study hard and get good mark in the college.Unfortunately only a little boys do.
If a girl can study English well then she can find a good job just because her Enlish well but the boy can find job easier than the girl.The pressure make girls study Enlish hard than boys. L___

i think it has been a trend that girls work harder than boys.
in some old people's mind ,they think that the gene of girls and boys r different.they think boys have better talent than girls.,so if boys and girls do the same thing at the same time,they think boys will do it better and use the less time.and it has been a common sence in a lot of people's mind.maybe this is the reason that some girls want to prove themselves.and with the time going on,it has been a trend.
another aspect,maybe the difference of the personality.girls r much more careful and kinder and quieter.so girls maybe r easier to calm down to study.and use more time to study.and in the end,girls do better than boys.
now,more and more girls work hard and their performances r better than boys.
so professor,what i said is just my opinion,i hope what i said can give u some help.

Dear ______,

I used to be your student in ________ ______ University. Thank you for your teaching and helping.

In China girls are more diligent than boys, because we think that only learning can change our life. But boys they have many other talents. They are more stronger than girls, so can do many hard works, which girls can’t do. And they maybe think they are smarter than girls.

Second, In China a lot of knowledge must be remembered. Boys can’t pay more attention on tests. That’s why boys are always good at math while girls are good at language.

Why are girls always chatting in class? This reason is very easy. All the women in the world like talking. They can talk in everywhere and in every time.

I hope that my ideas can help you to know more about Chinese students.

Wish your new job happy!

Keep in touch! L__

P.S. Give you a picture of mine, hope you will like it!


maybe girls do not dare to defy their teachers.we prefer to be praised

than to be punished.boys want to show that they have grown up and they

care nothing.in China,girls are always so sweet:) C____

Dear ,

It's a good question, but unfortunately I don't know the correct

answer. I just try my best.

As we all know, girls are always more patient and diligent. They

prepared regularly and finished the homework more earnest while boys

played the football and PC games. Almost in every class girls seem more

motivated than the boys, coming to class prepared while the boys do not and

participating in the class discussions more than the boys.

The only way that can make boys come to class regularly is

rollcalling every class. And tell them, if you don't attend the class,

you lose your score. But sometimes some boys even didn't afraid of failing.

Of course, if the class is really attact students, all of them

would coming and attend actively. But English is not our mother lanuage, so

it's difficult to enjoy the lessons.

May you be more succeed.


23-Nov-2004, 04:23


“The reason is that many boys are not willing to go to the lesson,and they don't want to learn anything,except how to better play PC Net games and how to pursuing girls. This problem is not just happened in your course but also in other course,including those taguht by chinese. However,I don't think no boys in this class are thinking, I do, and I can

list some boys who are really thinking in the class. Finally, I want to tell you a small hint to figure out who are willing to take the class, may be you have already discovered that. Generally, people who sit in the front are willing to attend the class, are motivated and thinking.I have learned many things from you, not only marketing.” B-M

“The reasons I think is that girl's English level are higher than boys, which could make them accept the information easily. Another is girl's interestings are less than boys, which could make them concetrate on doing homework easily. Finally, the age of the mental of girls are elder than boys respectively. Those reasons why girl's attentation higher than boys I think”

“In school, not only in Chinese university, but also in elementary school, girl students behave more actively than boy students. It is largely due to the Chinese culture and what we learnt from our childhood. Chinese society requires girls to be docile and decent, be careful to everything and obey the certain rules wherever they engage in. However, boys are required opposite. To be masculine, adventruous, liking to challenge conservative rules are motivated. It is similar as the X and Y theory in organizational behavior. Girls behave more actively than boys in class becasue they are aiming at the high grade and want to get scholarships while boys are not. Boys putting a little energy into study just want to pass the course. They prefer to spend their time and energy on other things like sports,clubs,games,social work,pursuing girls etc. In their value system, studying on books is useless. If there were no exams in college, boys would not come to class everyday. Girls are seldom seen on the playground when boys are playing football and basketball. What are they doing? They are studying in dormitory, in classrooms, in library. Therefore, girls can prepare beforehand, participate in class, attend class regularly and more positive than boys. In other words, girls like studying while boys avert from studying.” B-L

“1.Most girls can speak English better than boys.
2.Girls always say more than boys.
3.Girls are more diligent than boys in Chinese education system.” B-L

“I think girls will pay more attention on what teachers told them to do,on the contrary, boys will more like to do what they want. And in this semester, boys should take more time on finding jobs.” B-L

“Students all like to be praised by their teachers. Although someone do worse job than the others, he or she still want to be motivated by the teachers.But teachers always do not pay much attention to this point. What happened? These kind of students treat their jobs as rubbish, because they lose themselves in their studies. It is a Chinese Saying,"Do not care about broken bottles, because they have been broken before. "Most teachers treat them as broken bottles, what they can do?” B-M

“I think the reason is that boys just focus on how to pass the course,while girls care more about learning something useful.We have different purposes,so we take different action and have different attitude with the course.Girls take more time preparing the cases when boys prefer spend the time in on-line games,most of the boys did not prepare for the class for two reasons:lazy and lack of self-control” B-M.

“Just like in the stock market, man will take more risks than women to earn more profits. If they do not interested in the class, they will not take time on it. However, girls are often afraid to be blamed by teachers. In my view, that's why.” B-L

“In our class,the girls are much more than the boys.So it looks that girls often answer the questions even though the boys also answer it. Then some girls like talking in the class, but most boys do not answer the questions initiatively. It does not mean that they are not participate in the class.” B-L

23-Nov-2004, 04:25
“Maybe the reason is simply you are a male teacher. And girls have more time to read or preparing for the course while boys are playing. In fact, girls do did hard work before class than boys. Usually, girls care the high mark very much, not only in your course. Most of boys are lazy, maybe me too.” B-M

23-Nov-2004, 04:26

“Our Chinese teachers also think the girl always pay more attention to the classes than the boy. I think it has got many reasons:first, boys always spend more time on games. Such as PC game and many sports games. Second, most of the boys are lazier than the girl.They intend to sleep intead of doing their homework. Furthermore, Chinese people always say: the boy are more immaturity than the girl until they realize the responsbility they have. Sometimes, one boy turn to play, then others will follow, as a result, this group of boys all neglect their classes.” G-M

“We generation, most of the boys r still pretty babyhood. They don't pay more attention of the attendence or even fail of the class. i don't think they realize that all our tuition fee is paid by our parents and if we fail, all the restudy fee also from parents. They DO NOT CARE. All these age boys thinking about most is PC games or wooing girls.Although there are some good boys do really want learn sth. But not in this class i believe. Maybe they r in some famouse university like FuDan or Beijing University. also should be a bachelor's degree student.”

“The boys are more sluggish . They think they make great efforts to pass so long as have an examination in the last week . So the attending rate is lower than the the girls. Girl students study diligently, They are not merely for through the examination, but in order to take the high score. So they are used to preview, and know how to hold classroom time each time to study new knowledge.” G-L

“In exterior aspect, school can accept only boys during the past time. Therefore, girls treasure the chance to learn than boys today. They want to improve that Girl students are more outstanding than the boy students. When look for job; companies prefer boys than girls, girls have to work hard than boys for get a good job. In inner aspect, girl students

are overcautious before the examination, The attending rate occupies certain proportion in total points at the end of term, if someone do not do well in the final exam, participation sometimes do help when wander up and down between passing and failing .The boy's thought is more late-maturing than that of the girl£¬during the student age. Girls display looks like adults even more than that of the boys. They demonstrate the

sense of responsibility, calm, steady and industrious earlier. In a word, the pressure of the society and physiological of different sex are the important factors which causing girls more outstanding than the boys in most schools now. But the situation will change after they work”. G-L

”Because most people think that women are disadvantage group, so women themselves should work harder to prove their abilities. Furthermore, women will spent much time to bring children so they will cherish each minute to learn more when they have time.” G-L

“It's really a common phenomenon in each Chinese school. I confirm that the boys are more intelligent than girls in some certain aspects, but our girls are more modest and hard-working.” G-L

“because girls study more hard than boys, they want to achieve the homework better than others, they want to successful in their job.” G-L

“I think boys just do not express themselves well. Most of them were also prepare for the class,but they didn't actively answer your question. As true, girls are more hardworking, they want to get high marks, but some boys don't care,and they just want to pass.” G-L

“I think girls are have more free time than boys because most of the boys are like playing computer games. The course are more suitable for girls because girls can accept information more quickly, and I found that this teaching method can result two extremeness: one is that students will think this couse is a new challenge for those who want to learn a good learning method and can get more recent information which can help in the future work or study. The other is the students( most of the boys) think this course will make them under great pressure, although they want to learn, they can only spend some time, and when they see a lot of original reading marterials, they will think it will be no end and then give up.”

“Maybe there are two reason: firstly, most of boys may more lazy than

girls. They don't want to spend more time on study, and they are

interested in playing game than studying. Another reason is in our class girls

much more than boys, and girls are more activly than boys. They are

willing to express themselves at present.” G-L

23-Nov-2004, 04:27
“Firstly, temptations. Something else like video game, online game attract more boys than girls.Secondly, girls do anything more serious than boys in nature. Whether it it right or not, they will do it seriously. Thirdly, most of the girls` English level are better than boys. Woman¡¯s language is better than that of man¡¯s. As a result, boys can not understand what the teacher said in class, after a period, they will not have any motivation on this course.”

“Because girls care about the mark about the lesson, they do not want to restudy the lesson again; girls want to learn more about the lesson, because it is more difficult to find a good job than boys; girls may have more time than boys while boys always wastes time on playing games; girls may do not want to feel shame while the teacher ask her some questions and her can’t answer”

“Boys and girls are quite different in study. We have different ways of learning. However, the most important thing in my opinion is attitude. I’m a girl. I’d like to try my best to learn knowledges. Although I always make mistakes or miss key of problems, I still put my mind in it. Maybe some boys do not care about it. But I think they are just a part of boys, there are still many boys work hard just like girls.”

“I think that boys always have more hobbies than girls, such like playing
basketball, football, cs etc. Boys are doing their hobbies while girls are preparing for classes. Because we save these time, we can read books. Since girls have done prepare
for the class, we have known about what will be discussed in the class, and we can be more participant in the lessons than boys.”

“In my opinion, three points should be attentioned. The first one is that girls are basically conscientious than boys,and they care more about their marks and think more about anything, which is the obvious characteristics of sex. The second one is that the self-respect of girls are much stronger than boys. In addition,they are very shy.When being asked a question, if they can't answer or give the wrong answer, they will feel very sad and their faces turn red suddenly.In order not to be criticized by teacher and avoide making mistakes before all classmates, they will prepare before class and work harder and harder to get good marks to get respect from teachers,classmates and parents by this way. The last one is that boys prefer to playing compared with girls, they spend too much time on playing games and sports, which makes them have little time to prepare class even attend class any more.I think those are the reasons why the girls attend class more regularly than the boys;why the girls seem more motivated than the boys;why the girls come to class prepared while the boys do not;and why the girls participate in the calss more than the boys”

“the main reason is that girls care much more about the results of their study. Hence, girls always spend more time and energy in preparing and doing their work. Furthermore, girls do better in class in order to be made a strong and good impression on their performance by teachers.”

“Because the girls want to gain a higher score in any score by many ways, such as more attendance, higher motivation and so on. Because the girls want to catch the step the teacher and understand what teachers said. Many boys usually think they can deal with any problems that occur suddenly. That’s the difference.”

“I think coz girls pay more attention to their lessons not only Global Marketing.Girls think it's so bad to absent,and they will pay much time on their homework,so they seem more motivated than the boys.”

23-Nov-2004, 04:29

Dear H_____:

I am cognoscente that it was not within your responsibilities to involve yourself with my situation yesterday at ______. Thank you for your expression of concern and support.

I have anguished for many sleepless nights over my International Marketing class. I have consulted several Chinese Business teachers, H_____ and J______, my colleague A____, and yourself. It is a simple matter to fail a student, even five out of 63. It only takes the stroke of the pen.

But what does an “F” grade really represent? I choose to consider that it means that I have failed as a teacher with respect to that student. It is my grade. I realize that this is not the conventional way of looking at it but I think this makes me a better teacher.

I have used the Prentice Hall books for the past four years. They generally contain too much content for one semester and the content is usually difficult for the undergraduate Chinese students. This is primarily so because they are deficient in their English reading skills and have not been taught that the only way to improve those skills is to read more, until it becomes easier and even enjoyable.

I have found that the best way to use the Prentice Hall books is to have the students read the text material on their own, at their own pace. Then they go on-line to the companion web site and take the multiple-choice test at the end of the Chapter. After the computer scores the test, the students can email me the results and then go back through the text to review the areas they missed on the test. The instant class did this successfully for the first few Chapters but then they figured out that one student could answer the test, obtain the correct answers, and then everyone simply went on line and gave 100% CORRECT ANSWERS. They did this even after numerous explanations that the test scores did not count toward their grade but were simply for their own edification. I asked them to stop sending me the test scores in order to impress this point upon them. As a result, they stopped utilizing the test as a learning tool.

In class we discuss the cases at the end of each Chapter, applying the knowledge from the particular text. The students stopped reading the text and just read the cases at the end of the Chapter. If unlucky enough to be called upon in class, their answer was “my English is too poor to explain my answer. Can I answer in Chinese?”

Yesterday I started the class with a surprise quiz by giving the students the multiple-choice test from the web site. With one exception, half of the students got one answer correct by accident while the other half missed every single answer. I inquired of the students and learned that only a single student had read the text or taken the test on line. That single student got every question correct.

I informed the students that I would not waste my time trying to teach them when they were unprepared. I also reminded them of the statement in my written course syllabus:

“Always come to class having prepared your homework assignments. If you cone to class unprepared you may be asked to leave the classroom and you will be marked absent.”

Rather than remove all of the students but one from the room, I absented myself and warned them to take the opportunity to read the material. I also informed them that I was not afraid to fail every single one of them if they refused to do the work. I then left the room.

The class monitor subsequently came to my office and we discussed the matter. I reminded him that just the day before he had brought the five failing boys to meet with me and they promised to turn over a new leaf and study. They promised to come to class prepared if just given another chance. Well they got their second chance and blew it, threw it away.

I have exhausted the motivational possibilities, including telling them the story of my regretful former student whose funeral I attended in Wuhan last Saturday. I have now done everything possible to motivate this class, including scaring them by walking out on them and threatening to fail all of them.

Rest assured that I counted the personal cost before embarking upon this course of action. In fact, I agonized over my decision for days. I gave the quiz to confirm the need for such drastic action. I made the decision that the potential benefit to my students far outweighed whatever adverse consequences arose for me. I am determined that my students will benefit from their time in my class and that they will not pass through our institution unaffected.

You should know that the class monitor informs me that there have been some positive results already. He says the students realize that I was giving them “a wake up call.” These were his words.

Maybe I have bought trouble for myself, but last night I was able to sleep for the first time in days.


23-Nov-2004, 04:29

“I take my study seriously and I really want to study it well, but excuse my poor English ability, I often could not understand the whole text and the case very well and do not know how to express what I’m thinking. In spite of that, I would try my best and put more time in the studying and try to improve my English ability in the future. I sincerely consider you an excellent teacher and give us an experience in the western teach method
which seems very special to us. Please forgive what mistakes we have made and hope to see you again in the later terms.”

“I really understand what your wishes to us, really thank you. you said we may thank you after we graduate but i thank you now. The information you told us in class is much more important than what written in book.”

“I just want to apologize to you ,and I promise you ,we will make some change.Thank you for advising us,that will help us to know the situation we have.”

“ I'm apologized for the thing being happened on Wednesday. I admit the fact girls preparing for the class and motivating in class are much better than the boys. If I want choose a excuse, I just could to say that girls are much better adaptation the form of the class than the boys. The reasons resulted all this phenomenon is the attitude. Sometimes, boys always have no patience to read overall chapter. Therefore, we just choose the case that would be discussed in class every time to read. Even the chapter we had read, we still haven't absolutely master because of our impatience. I'm really sorry for these. Now what I can do is to make up for what I lost and neglected. Finally ,I want to express my opinion that I hope I still could learn more things from you, respectable ________, and your class besides the correct attitude while facing any thing and never cheating myself.”

“First I am sorry for so late to send you this letter, for I haven’t receive your last assignment. but I want to write for you for a long time, but my lessons are so busy and I can’t have a direct mind to write to you, but now ,I decide to write to you to let you know what I think in my mind.

I am really like you! This is not compliment! You are so stern teacher I have met in my college. you always assign us many important homework to help us to know about the book, in the same time, you teach me a lot I can’t learn form the book. your teacher style is free and compact, I know it is very helpful for us to studying. so I thanks a lot for your teaching!

You always say we are your sons and daughters, and you will organize the films every week to improve our English, you are a good teacher! Every time I see the film, I will listen your laughing so happy, I think you are also very kind!

But I am very sorry for the last time you angry for we haven’t complete your assignment, and I think you may be very angry for us! Now, I want to apologize for my lazy, for no excuse for don’t do the homework! I don’t want to say the reason, but I just as be a daughter to tell you something in my mind!

In many parts, Chinese students are quite different from American students. I agree that in the ability of studying, may be we are worse. but this is not our fault! From I was only nine; I must do the homework everyday for a long time to enter a better school, and get a good mark. Whether a student is good is only depends on the marks! China has so many young men, but not everyone who want to enter the college can realize the dream. Half of the students can’t enter the college! for the reason of lower marks and expensive fees of college was so lucky to born in shanghai and have the chance to have good education, even from the abroad. but so many years education teach me how to write down what teachers say, but not how to think by myself and how to do the homework teacher haven’t assign ,we are lack of ability of study by ourselves! This concept let me feel difficult to sturdy in the college, especially meet you!

I know what you have done are all for us, and wish we are good in the society! I am really thanks for your teaching! I don’t want you think I am a kid! I also don’t want you will disappoint for me! You teach me so lot! Trust me; I will bring up my ability of studying by myself! You will be my teacher forever! I will let you see my success in the future!”

23-Nov-2004, 04:30

Survey: Shanghai men make lousy workers

China Daily
Updated: 2004-11-16 09:05

Shanghai men are arrogant and do more talking on the job than actual work, unlike migrant men in the city who are hardworking and diligent, a recent survey suggests.

Zhaopin.com, one of the country's leading Web-based headhunters, surveyed 1,284 male office workers - including 496 Shanghai natives and 788 from other cities - about their career performance, job category and salaries.

Nearly 39 percent of people surveyed said their male colleagues from Shanghai are arrogant, like to give indiscrete criticism and desire to manipulate others.

Only 9 percent of respondents had similar criticisms about their migrant male colleagues.

About 48 percent of them said that migrant male employees are harder workers and more duty-bounded than local men.

Meanwhile, one-third of people asked said that local male employees often complain the minute they become frustrated with their work.

Only 4 percent of respondents, however, said the same thing about migrant males who leave a general impression of being hard working and never complaining to others, the survey reported.

Due to the negative impression, only 10 percent of respondents said that they are willing to partner with a Shanghai-native male colleague. But 46 percent of them would choose to cooperate with their migrant counterparts.

"Native male workers are shrewd as a whole," said Wang Qiuhan, a local business manager. "Sometimes they are too shrewd to partner with or manage."

Many of those surveyed said local men arrive at the office at 9am sharp and are among the earliest to head home. It is almost impossible to get them to work overtime voluntarily.

However, many migrant male workers are still in the office long after regular hours, Wang said.

Liu hao, CEO at Zhaopin.com, said that's because migrant workers face more pressure to get a good job in the city. But native men don't.

The survey also indicated 25 percent of migrant males have a sales job in the city, making sales the first choice for them.

The survey found that salaries don't differ much between local and migrant men. Most of them earn 40,000 yuan (US$4,819) to 60,000 yuan on average each year.

But 73 percent of those surveyed said that migrant men employees perform much better than their local counterparts at work.

23-Nov-2004, 23:01
I'd rather you didn't go into gender dissimilarities. There are diligent boys and lazy girls, for all I know.

The thing is I might perform better (in what ways?) or include more video or listening practice (although the boy watches films and listens to music in English, therefore he's got plenty of opportunities to develop his ear) but I think all teachers face the motivation problem sooner or later. I wonder if somebody has solved it satisfactorily to share his/her experience.


A request to the Moderators: Could you please deter people from thrashing the thread? I expressly asked for an answer to the specific problem, not the general difference between a male and female.

24-Nov-2004, 08:55
I am neither turtle nor ostrich and will not ignore gender bias or differences because of your preference or request. I posted the results of a very recent survey which, if you will open your eyes, does address the issue head on.

YOUR thread has not been thrashed. In fact it has been focused, at least as to university students in China.

If you post here on a public forum, you take what you get. Actually, I gave you quite a bit of raw material which will soon form the basis for a major journal article. The fact that you wish to look the other way only impresses upon me your desire for an answer that you have preordained is acceptable.

That is truly unfortunate.

24-Nov-2004, 09:57
I have no objection to your posting survey results if it's relevant to the question in hand. I don't see any assocation between Chinese students (male or female) and my student who's stalled. I am a private tutor as I mentioned in my opening posting so I deal with boys/girls/men/women whose attitude and abilities vary greatly regardless of sex. If I had a mixed-gender class I'd appreciate your drawing a distinction between male and female students. As it is I only need a bit of advice how to fight stagnation in a student of mine.

So far I have talked to him and it's become clear that his learning English was primarily his parents' ambition, not his, though he always found it pretty easy to master. In fact, memorizing new words and applying grammar rules have come easy to him, and he's had ample speaking practice travelling abroad. But when we start new material which requires he make some effort to understand the rules and apply them correctly (mixed conditionals, for instance) he 'stalls'. He has little or no difficulty at all comprehending spoken English, but the gap between his active and passive vocabulary is widening since he's unwilling to use new words and forgets them almost as quickly as he learns them.

25-Nov-2004, 07:03
Clue #1 20 year old boys in China are like 14 - 15 year old boys elsewhere.

Clue #2 15 year old boys have many interests far more motivating than study.

Clue #3 15 year old boys are very sensative to peer pressure, family problems
and hormone change.

Clue #4 You are not going to find your specific answer here.